There are a handful of places that are “uniquely Fort Collins”. I love those types of places. The ones where you just mention our city name and they immediately pop into your mind. These are the places that you recognize as the fabric of our town, a key component, a landmark. If they were to disappear, there would be a gaping void and our city wouldn’t be the same. Avogadro’s Number is one of those places.
Avogadro’s Number (or most commonly referred to as “Avo’s”) has been around for over 30 years on Mason just north of Laurel, thanks to owner Rob Osborne. That’s quite a life for a restaurant, when we are accustomed to seeing new eateries sprout up every few weeks, and some not making it past 6 months of operation.
Avo’s is an eclectic place, and that adjective doesn’t even do it justice. A restaurant, bar, patio, meeting place and music venue all wrapped into one. The most notable, unmistakable feature is the large murals covering almost every square inch of the walls. I could sit there looking at them all day long; appreciating the small, hidden details in each one. They are absolutely amazing. The talented artist, Susan K. Dailey, had been working on them from 1982-2005.
Not only is Avo’s a creative place covered in color, but it serves as a music venue as well. Swing dancing, open mic, bluegrass, jam bands, jazz, dixieland and even The Cupcake Cabaret burlesque show (something I’ve been dying to go to for months) – the music selection is as diversified as the art and customer base.
When it comes to the menu, they are known known for their variety and especially their vegetarian/vegan friendliness, specifically their tempeh. Tempeh is made with soybeans and is a great source of heart-healthy protein.
For this review, one of my faithful review friends (very pregnant and due any day now; we joked about her going into labor at lunch which would have made for a super exciting review, but no such luck) and her little toddler, joined us for lunch. We sat out on the back patio enjoying the nice weather and letting the kids run around. Avo’s had just finished the patio in the last couple of years, making it a kid’s wonderland of sorts. There is a large tree house, play structures, water features, wishing wells and even a small fountain with rubber ducks and colored cups to play with. This is now my favorite kid-friendly place to bring the boys. I can let them run free to play in this amazing and creative space.
We ordered at the counter with a vast selection of desserts tempting us. For our lunch, The Preschooler went with the PB & J. The Toddler had a turkey and cheese bagel. I ordered the tempeh burger with fries and a side of their daily soup, which was gazpacho.
I’m really happy with the kids’ meal options here, because it’s not all junk. The Preschooler’s PB & J came on toasted whole wheat bread. The Toddler’s bagel sandwich was hearty and more than enough for a little boy.
My tempeh burger, while a bit sloppy, was just as flavorful as my soup. When eating it, I never thought “hey, this tastes like a burger!” However, it did have that addicting fatty flavor from the cheese and mayo that is so typically “burger,” and I loved it. It had a seedy consistency that made it fall apart quickly, but I was fine with that. I’m never going to go vegetarian, but I would still love to eat tempeh burgers from Avo’s.
When choosing your sides, I’d suggest skipping the fries. They weren’t that memorable and with so many other healthy options to choose from (or even unhealthy fried cheese!), the fries are just taking up precious space in your stomach.
Avogadro’s Number is a great place for so many things – a cheap lunch in a unique atmosphere, a fun place to bring the kids, a nice selection of vegetarian options, a killer bar and a fantastic music venue. There is something for everyone here. When someone asks me what Fort Collins’ restaurants stand out in my mind, Avo’s is definitely one of them.
605 South Mason Street
Kid-Friendly? Absolutely!!! One of the best places in town for kids!
Parking: Street parking.
Healthy Options? You bet! There are many!
Budget-Friendly? Everything is under $10. They often have daily deals and lunch specials.
Recent Health Inspection: Good